A scathing report on the state of school education for children with disabilities has been released by a Senate committee.

More funding has been recommended to assist students with a disability and the schools that they attend by the cross-party Education and Employment References Committee, chaired by Labor Senator Sue Lines.  The proposed increased funding would also increase teacher training and a provide a more coordinated, national approach to identifying areas of need.

Speaking on the 7.30 report on ABC, Senator Lines said she was “shocked” by the evidence the committee heard.

“Parents told us they went to ministers, to the equal opportunity [commissioner], simply to get their child enrolled at the local school, which every other parent takes for granted,” she said.  “The first thing those parents were hit with, once they said they had a child with disability, was the school threw up their hands and said: ‘We simply don’t have the funding’.”

According to the findings in the report, children with disabilities were often failed by mainstream schools as the steps needed to teach the children effectively were not taken.

At the other end of the scale, many schools catering specifically for children with special needs often can fail to challenge the students enough.

The committee, dominated by Labor and the Greens, recommended that the needs-based funding for children with disabilities that came out of the Gonski education reforms be re-implemented.


Image source: Getty Images.

  • It truly is ridiculous! I have a special needs child, and it is so difficult to get the help needed in public schools! You’re basically treated like a second class citizen. Not good enough!


  • yep, I agree. my son was a victim of the school system. he was eligible and received funding but the school used it to assist other kids that didn’t fit the needs for funding


  • That’s terrible. Money should be allocated for special needs’ kids education!!


  • I think the older the child, the less support is available


  • Lke gf


  • I have a 4 yr old with special needs( autistic) and i can tell you now that as soon as he was officially diagnosed we had 3 different preschool all trying to ‘woo’ us for mr 4 to go to their preschool. One of the preschool teachers ended up telling me that when a special needs child is enrolled in their preschool then they can recieve a extra teacher fully funded by the government. I ended up sticking with the preschool that was the most honest about why theywanted mr 4 to attend… its sad but that is how it works :(

    • Yes, totally agree. They try and convince you to go to their school and once there your child doesn’t end up receiving the help they need! I have experienced this myself. We are in the process of changing schools because of this.


  • This is such a shame in this day and age inAustralia. It is something that most definitely needs addressing


  • Thank you for posting this. Its great to get out to as many people as possible. Having a child with special needs is tough enough, but the unexpected challenge comes from trying to get into schools and being rejected becuase of funding. Ive even tried to be coerced by teachers to get my child another diagnosis that would ‘fit better’ with the funding they get :o


  • its very tough on parents with children with special needs.


  • Money and time do need to go into education for good outcomes for children. When all children get a good education, it benefits the whole community. I am more than happy for taxes to go into the basics of education and health.

    • yeah it is about the end results! the outcomes!


  • yes the kids are missing out when they are entitled to an education.


  • I honestly do not know what the answer is, but it seems to be that educational institutions these days are more focused on how much money they are granted, rather than on doing what’s best for students and the community. I understand there are lots of costs associated with education, but I also know from people in education that a lot of money is wasted on useless bureaucratic procedures and programmes.


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